Innovation in a 60 year old Kirana shop, fake business getting hit: A few of demonetisation’s positives

Today marks the 1st anniversary of demonetisation of the erstwhile Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes and opposition have taken it upon themselves to demonise the scheme and its consequential impact.

The opposition is observing today as a “black day” and we reported how they were also furthering their anti-demonetisation rhetoric by sharing a photograph of a crying old man to portray how the scheme had hurt the old and poor.

As subsequently exposed, this photograph was taken out of context and the man was actually wincing in pain because he was pushed by someone and a woman stepped on his foot. He at a personal level is now happy with demonetisation.

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The cacophony around this scheme has meant that the truly positive stories regarding this scheme have failed to hog the limelight. Here are a few:

A TOI report recounts how Vishnu Desai a Kirana shop owner who has operated his shop for about 60 years, found the basics of his business challenged when PM Modi announced the decision to demonetise RS 500, RS 1000 notes. But the Panjim based Kirana shop owner decided to innovate.

In the upcoming days, 85 year old Desai and his son learnt the basics and started accepting payment with the help of mobile wallet Paytm. After making this change, the customers asked as to why did they not accept credit or debit cards, based on the feedback, the Desais installed a POS machine.

They later decided to make further tech innovations like install CCTV cameras and use a 4G smartphone to manage their transactions.

A year on, the Desais find online transaction much more convenient as not only there is no fear of robbery, the hassles of calculating the change and tallying the cash at the end of the day has been eliminated.

Demonetisation hasn’t only helped people become more tech friendly. It as per reports has also dealt a fatal blow to the counterfeit currency bastion in Kaliachak, West Bengal.

A place once called, “India’s counterfeit capital”, Kaliachak has recorded the lowest counterfeit note seizure in the past year. As per security agencies, fakes notes worth Rs 55.66 lakh have been seized post demonetisation. This means a marked decrease from total seizures of Rs 1.48 crore in 2016, Rs 2.61 crore in 2015 and Rs 1.80 crore in 2014. The total number of smuggling syndicates have also come down to 12 from earlier 20.

The authorities though feel that a real change in this region can only be brought after locals are provided decent alternative employment so that they aren’t lured into the world of criminal activities.

We had also reported yesterday how post demonetisation there was a 17% increase in e-filing of Income Tax returns, which as per an Income Tax official, was due to the IT department asking people to file their returns for coming clean with respect to their post demonetisation transactions.

Whatever may be the long term impact of this scheme, the healthy share of positives in the short term, should be used as a motivation for spurring further innovation in the Indian monetary sphere, in the coming years.


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